staying active on vacation

Now that we are on summer vacation and our schedule has gone all topsy turvy with no school and a few trips planned, staying on a regular workout schedule has become a bit of a challenge. I do manage to keep a calendar of proposed workouts, just to keep me somewhat on track and accountable, but there is a lot of shuffling around and squeezing in, too.

It can be a little discouraging, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with a little planning and creativity. Use your surroundings, take advantage of new settings and change things up and you won’t miss out on that much.

Make use of your hotel. I know. Hotel gyms usually aren’t the most inspiring or motivational, but you know what? They’re available, accessible and even if it means waking up early (or staying up late) and getting in 30 minutes on the elliptical or do a round of weights, you’ve boosted that heart rate and accomplished some dedicated activity.

Your hotel might have a pool as well – it may not be regulation length, but you can still get in some hard laps, even if they are a little shorter than the norm.

Bonus: some of the hotel brands will even provide athletic shoes and clothes as part of their hospitality, so you don’t have to use valuable suitcase real estate to pack your own!

Sample the local flavor. Many fitness studios offer drop in classes and some of the larger name gyms have nationwide member privileges. If you have a current membership to one of those gyms, you can visit a familiar setting. Otherwise, you can check out what your destination city has to offer by way of boutique classes, pop up sessions or new-to-you workouts. You’ll get the one-two punch of a great workout and the exposure to something a little out of the norm.

Life’s a beach! If you live near or are visiting a body of water, chances are you are spending time at the beach. This works out wonderfully – this location offers plenty of opportunity for fitness and activity. If the tide is right, you can run (barefoot or in sneakers) on the packed sand. Beach cycling is a great workout, too, if you have access to a cruiser or fat tire bike. The sand provides a wonderful core workout for a yoga flow or impromptu HIIT circuit, and don’t discount the workout involved with a beach hike while collecting shells with your little ones. You can rack up miles and steps without even realizing it. Last, but certainly not least, those who are comfortable with the open water can get out in the waves for some swim practice!

Admire the surroundings. Sometimes, a good walk is just the right activity. Whenever I am visiting somewhere new (or have some spare time in familiar locales), I like to get out and walk. The action allows me to familiarize myself with my surroundings, as well as see things you might not ordinarily notice. Unique architecture,   hole in the wall cafes, hidden parks or street art can be more easily identified by a simple, purposeful stroll.

Use what’s available. Visiting a theme park for the day? Guaranteed you will get in miles of walking. If there’s a skyscraper or lighthouse? Use those stairs and climb to the top for the views and the burn. Check out local walking tours or even bike or kayak tours. Hiking can be a beautiful way to explore, from flat, packed trails to more technical elevations. So many of these are family friendly and can give you a great overview of the place you’re visiting, while providing a fabulous workout.

Sign up for a race or event! You all know racecations are my favorite, and the idea of hauling my bike on the next road trip for a local fondo or group ride has certainly crossed my mind. As long as you are able to get to the start line, it’s simple enough to pack some workout gear and make some new friends along the way!


While taking a break and some extra rest days is perfectly fine during your vacations or over holiday (a few off days will most certainly not derail your progress), there are also plenty of ways to keep to your plan with a little flexibility and creativity. Pack your shoes and your sense of adventure and go for it!

What are your best fitness tips for vacation?

Are you able to keep to your plans while traveling?

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14 Responses to staying active on vacation

  1. Darlene says:

    oooh love the Brooklyn Bridge pic.

    Have to be flexible and schedule things at the same time…. sometimes it is tough.

    Love your tips.
    Darlene recently posted…Friday Frive 2.0: Summer Bucket ListMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      That was a great day. We took a cab from Times Square to Wall Street to see Trinity Church, and then we walked to the brdige, across the bridge, had pizza in Brooklyn, walked back and then wandered our way back to the hotel. I love getting my steps in in NYC.

  2. Marcia says:

    Some of my most memorable long runs have been while on vacation. There’s nothing like running to give you the best tour of a new city.
    Marcia recently posted…5 Ways to Bring Balance to Your LifeMy Profile

  3. Rachel says:

    I try to stay active on vaca but if I’m with the fam I usually let it slide a bit!
    Rachel recently posted…5 Ways to Create Endless Summer FunMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I am usually such an early riser that I can squeeze in some fitness fun before they all get up and get going. If we are on a shorter trip, I skip it, but when we are visiting somewhere for longer, I either make sure we have some really physical activities planned or I just get in my workouts around everyone.

  4. Coco says:

    Great ideas. The hardest thing for me is taking away from “family” time. I try to get up early to sneak in a run, or get everyone to do something active later.
    Coco recently posted…2018 Lawyers Have Heart 5K Race RecapMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It’s definitely hard to balance both things, but my family understand I am a better person if I get workouts in. I have actually been kicked out of hotel rooms to go run before because of a bad mood or edginess LOL. Not often, but it got me in a happier place and able to enjoy things more.

  5. I’m all about finding a nearby race if I’m traveling (hoping to eventually get a race completed in every state). And, of course, it’s always more fun seeing the sights on foot (via walking).

    • runswithpugs says:

      It’s so fun! I love our local races, but I also love trying something new, getting on new courses and seeing new faces. It absolutely enhances vacation, in my opinion.

  6. Renée says:

    agree with all of these! we are definitely “stay active” people whilst on holiday, it’s just a given. though I likely wouldn’t drop in to classes in countries where I don’t speak the language, I have often just taken up a week membership at a gym where I was staying. we are not the type of people who can easily lay around on the beach and do nothing – but when we are with my stepkids there is generally compromise going on so everyone gets to do what they would like to do. In those cases we will even get up at the crack of dawn to do a run, just so we don’t cut into the time of others. The kids have always been encouraged to be active too so they are not bothered by climbing up steps or hills or walking while on vacation. My tips are pretty much 1) always bring your running kit, 2) always bring your swimsuit and 3) always bring a good pair of walking shoes. And if you really need to get a workout in, a 30 minute bodyweight exercise workout is really sufficient.
    Renée recently posted…Weigh-in Week #6My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      My husband really prefers “relaxing” vacations, so I have to do some negotiating in order to get people moving. Little man is good about it, especially now that he’s older. I think if it is just a given, there are less complaints. I agree with your three tips 100% – if you have your gear then your excuses are greatly reduced.

  7. Esther says:

    I love this!
    I can’t wait to get to try some new things on my next few trips!

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